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Morning 9: Further delay in Distance Insights report | “The humbling of Brooks Koepka” | Rory: Maybe I’m just not as good as I used to be



1. Further delay in Distance Insights report
Straight from the blue blazers…”UPDATE FROM THE R&A AND THE USGA ON GOLF’S DISTANCE INSIGHTS PROJECT…10 August 2020, St Andrews, Scotland and Liberty Corner, NJ, USA…”
  • “On 18 March 2020, The R&A and the USGA announced that the release of research topics related to the next phase of the Distance Insights Project would be delayed to allow the wider golf industry to focus on its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • “Given continued health concerns and the impact on golf worldwide, The R&A and the USGA are now targeting March 2021 for the release of equipment research topics. We will continue to monitor the recovery of the golf industry and may update this target date accordingly. In accordance with the Equipment Rulemaking Procedures, the time for golf equipment manufacturers and other interested parties to participate in this research will also be amended to account for the delay.”
  • “In the interim, The R&A and the USGA will continue to monitor the effects of distance on the game.”
  • “Beyond Equipment Rulemaking Procedures, the review of golf course design, set-up, and maintenance, as well as the availability and choice of appropriate teeing grounds, will continue, in support of golf’s long-term health.

Full piece.

2. “The humbling of Brooks Koepka”
Perhaps, humbled in our eyes, and in the words of ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, but doubtfully shattered is one Brooks Koepka…
  • O’Connor writes…”On any other Sunday gone awry, Koepka would have earned the benefit of the doubt. He had struggled with a significant knee injury before nearly winning in Memphis, Tennessee, last week. This PGA Championship could have been a throwaway for him, a bridge back to full health and, perhaps, pushing his chance at a fifth major victory to September’s U.S. Open or November’s Masters.”
  • “But he said what he said Saturday and there should be consequences for failing to honor his words. Not that this will be the last time Koepka talks more like a mixed martial arts fighter than a golfer…”
  • …”In the end Sunday, Koepka lucked out when Johnson’s 68 wasn’t good enough to claim his second major title. But this wasn’t about Johnson as much as it was about the guy who shot 74, the guy who looked completely washed out on his last hole while he finished off his sixth bogey.”
  • “…Brooks Koepka was finally humbled. And that was by far the biggest upset of the day.”
3. Morikawa on 16th-hole drive
Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard…“If, as Phil Mickelson contends, winning major championships requires a heroic moment, for Morikawa that moment came at the par-4 16th hole that had been trimmed to 294 yards for the final round. Ironically, it was a shot Morikawa said he wouldn’t hit.”
  • “I told [CBS analyst] Colt Knost, he saw me Wednesday afternoon practicing on there, and he asked me if I was ever going to go for it. I told him a quick no, it’s too much into the wind, why go for it,” Morikawa said.”
  • …”[Caddie J.J. Jackovac] looked at me and asked me what I wanted to do and I told him, let’s hit a good drive,” Morikawa said. “I counted back from 14 at Muirfield. What’s different from 14 at Muirfield and this shot, similar numbers, wind was a little left, kind of into me, but I knew I had to hit a good one.”
4. U.S. Am storylines
Golfweek’s Tod Leonard…”There are 264 golfers who will tee it up on Monday in the first stroke-play round of the 120th U.S. Amateur Championship at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon. That’s down from the 312 that would have been entered had the coronavirus not eliminated qualifying. But that still means there are 264 unique stories of who the golfers are and what they’ve accomplished to get here.”
  • “In this year’s tournament, there are businessmen in their 50s and 60s, the reigning U.S. Am champ and runner-up, former USGA winners, college and high school stars, and past touring pros who recaptured their amateur status.”
  • “We have to begin, though, with twins, because who isn’t at least slightly fascinated by twins? For both to reach a marquee event such as the U.S. Amateur is impressive-and it gets better this year, with two sets of twins, as well as another pair of brothers who are only a couple of years apart in age.”
5. A disturbing thought…
BBC report…”Maybe I’m just not as good as I used to be,” said the Northern Irishman, 31. “I can’t really put my finger on it. I go out there and try my best every single day.”
  • McIlroy was never really a factor at San Francisco’s TPC Harding Park, finishing on two under par…
  • …”I feel like the golf that I’ve played in the majors has been sort of similar to the golf I’ve played outside of them, and I’ve won some big events and played well and had a good season last season,” added McIlroy.
  • “Some days I play better than others. I’ve just got to keep going and keep persisting and see if I can do better the next time.”
6. Work for Tiger to do…not a lot of time to do it
ESPN’s Bob Harig looks at both sides of the scale and peers into his crystal ball…“Woods clearly has work to do. He struggled on the greens, had trouble getting the ball in the fairway consistently, and wasn’t his usual stellar self with his iron play — yet he still finished under par, turned what should have been a really bad round on Saturday into a 72, and was able to leave Harding Park with plenty to build on.”
  • “But it all goes back to his health. Now a busy stretch awaits, some of which explains why he didn’t play more to this point. Woods has this week off before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin with the Northern Trust at TPC Boston on Aug. 20.”
  • “At 47th in the FedEx Cup standings, Woods can’t afford to skip that tournament if he has intentions of getting to Atlanta for the Tour Championship, where he won in 2018 for his 80th PGA Tour victory. Woods has 604 points — with 500 of them coming from his October victory at the Zozo Championship in Japan.”
  • “That means the possibility he’ll play multiple weeks in a row, something he has not done since the Hero World Challenge and the Presidents Cup in December.”
7. Royal Montreal lands 2024 Presidents Cup
Todd Kelly for Golfweek…“It’s official: the 2024 Presidents Cup will be staged at Royal Montreal Golf Club.”
“Michel Lacroix, the in-house announcer of the Montreal Canadiens since 1993 and one of the more renowned sports broadcasters in Canada, opened a Zoom call on Monday, and set the stage for the announcement speaking in French. He then switched to English to introduce PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, who then announced that the 15th Presidents Cup in 2024 will return to Canada.”
“The people of Canada are some of the most loyal and passionate sports fans in the world and given the overwhelming success of the Presidents Cup in 2007, it was a natural step for the event to return to The Royal Montreal in 2024,” said Monahan.
8. Tired of JT’s F-bombs? 
An interesting hill to die on, Craig Dolch…“Dude, you’ve got to be f-ing kidding me,” Thomas said…What’s amazing is ESPN announcer Scott Van Pelt wasn’t even stunned by Thomas’ words. “Well …” was all Van Pelt could say.”
  • “Later, on CBS’ telecast, Thomas could be heard cursing again when he hit a bad shot from the ninth fairway into a green side bunker. Thomas muttered two expletives that clearly were audible.”
  • “We apologize for anyone who may have been offended by a couple of Justin’s comments there,” said CBS’ Ian Baker-Finch, another Jupiter resident.”
  • “This is not the way the son (and grandson) of PGA Professionals should be acting on the course, and Thomas knows it.”
9. Why Phil is wearing sunglasses on course
Our Gianni Magliocco…”Prompted by Jim Nantz to discuss his new look, Mickelson explained…”
  • “There’s actually a story to that. Back during Covid break, I did this Carac cream, which is like a skin cancer chemotherapy treatment on your face for like two weeks. Your skin blotches up, and you kill these cancer cells that you can’t see, and when I went outside, I had to wear some protection, so I wore these glasses to kind of protect the area around my eyes.
  • “I liked it. They didn’t move around on my face when I was swinging, I went out and played with them, and I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll give it a try.’ So that’s kind of where it started. And then my eyes were much more relaxed at the end of the day; they weren’t squinting the whole time.”


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The coolest wedge stampings on the PGA Tour (RSM Classic Edition)



Wedge stampings are the eye-popping garnish on the glorious plates of golf equipment. Maybe this isn’t exactly the right metaphor, because, well, the parsley (wedge stamp) isn’t as mouth-water as the Wagyu (wedge), but you get the point…right?

Anyway, let’s look at some wedges from the RSM Classic a couple of weeks ago and see what stampings and paintfills the pros were showcasing at Sea Island.

You may not know Anthony Cordes, but surely you’ll want to add him to your shortlist of players to passionately root for after seeing this Wedding Crashers-inspired wedge.

Bo Van Pelt is a fairly cool dude. That usually happens if your name is “Bo”—the nomenclature brings with it a certain je ne sais quoi. When you’ve got initials that sound great together—BVP—you don’t need to add any unnecessary elements to the recipe.

We’ll assume Anastissia and Victoria are Brendan Steele’s daughters, and not that he has an appreciation for royalty of antiquity. Cool stamping with the pink-filled dots.

Look past David Hearn gaming 2011 TaylorMade TP MC irons to the lead tape and stamping on his SM4 (!) wedges. The Canadian knows what he likes!

Similar to the proposition raised in the Bo Van Pelt section: “Hank” is a fairly cool name. If you’re referred to as such, get it stamped on your wedge and call it a day.

Jhonattan Vegas’ Mizuno irons always feature tidy “JV” stamping, and he’s extended the treatment to his prototype Artisan wedges, which are peeking out below.

Also on the Mizuno front, Lucas Glover has his JPX 919 irons stamped with his initials (no paintfill—nastiness), but his 52-degree wedge feature the loft it is bent to (54 degrees)—a classic stamping.

Michael Gligic was the only “MG” in the RSM Classic field, so we’re assuming these are his wedges. They could, however, be stamped with someone with a real affinity for the model.

See more photos from the RSM Classic here. 

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Morning 9: Bezuidenhout wins Alfred Dunhill | Casey’s Saudi about-face | Jon Rahm a father-to-be



By Ben Alberstadt
Email me at [email protected]; and find me on Twitter and Instagram.
November 30, 2020
Good Monday morning, golf fans. Happy to be back with all of you, and I hope Thanksgiving was filled with both good food and gratitude.
1. Bezuidenhout wins at Leopard Creek report…”Christiaan Bezuidenhout claimed his second European Tour title as a brilliantly composed bogey-free back nine of 34 handed him a four shot victory at the 2020 Alfred Dunhill Championship.”
  • “The home favourite entered the final day at Leopard Creek Country Club three shots off the lead and despite making a double and a bogey on the front nine to turn in 35, he had trimmed that gap to one at the turn.”
  • “As the rest of the leading contenders fought for their maiden victories, Bezuidenhout then used all of his experience to card three birdies on the way home in a 69 to finish at 14 under, clear of England’s Richard Bland, American Sean Crocker, Pole Adrian Meronk and South African Jayden Schaper.”
2. Rahms expecting
Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine…”Jon Rahm had a little extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.”
  • “Sure, the 26-year-old won twice and reached No. 1 in the world for the first time, but that wasn’t why. Instead, Rahm revealed Friday via social media that he and his wife, Kelley, are expecting their first child.”
  • “Feeling extra grateful this year, Happy Thanksgiving from us and our growing family!” said Rahm, who didn’t disclose any other details.
3. Casey’s about-face on Saudi Arabia
Golfweek’s Tim Schmitt…”Paul Casey responded to those attacking him for hypocrisy after he previously stood strong against playing in Saudi Arabia — and now has agreed to play there in 2021.”
  • …“This is not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I wasn’t comfortable going in the past, but I have always been open-minded and willing to learn. I believe sport has the power to affect change. I’ve listened to the Saudi’s commitment to this and their vision for the future,” Casey said in a statement released to Golfweek a few other select members of the media.
  • “They have successfully hosted two professional ladies tournaments which shows that Golf Saudi have big plans not only for professional golf, but more so for grassroots and the next generation.”
4. Pedersen’s treble
Golfweek’s JuliaKate E. Culpepper…”It’s been a good November for Emily Kristine Pedersen.”
  • “Following rounds of 68-71-68, Denmark’s Pedersen shot a final-round 66 to win the Ladies European Tour’s Andalucia Open De Espana Sunday at 15 under — her third straight win.”
  • “Pedersen, 24, was coming off a pair of wins at The Saudi Ladies Team International at Royal Greens Golf & Country in Saudi Arabia.”
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5. Are Masters, U.S. Open ratings concerning?
Tim Schmitt at Golfweek with explanations for the…incredibly modest…ratings for the majors in general.
  • “The jumbled schedule didn’t help…The schedule we’ve all come to know and expect is the schedule for a reason. April is the perfect time to kick off the golf season and the Masters sees little competition in its familiar time slot. The U.S. Open has similarly enjoyed success due to its traditional Father’s Day placement and a fairly free spot on the sports calendar…”
  • “Football is still king…When it was announced that times for the Masters would be moved up to ensure there was little or no overlap with major college football games and the late NFL matchups, some golf purists were miffed…”
  • “More platforms, more splintering…Although CBS’ numbers for the PGA Championship were down, ESPN’s early coverage of the event saw a 35 percent increase in viewership and the largest average on cable since 2010.”
6. McGinley on PGA Tour/Euro alliance
Paul McGinley, who is looking quite impressive in his SkySports headshot, writes…”I think it’s the right partnership for the European Tour and I think it’s the right partnership for golf. There’s a long way to go, but I really do believe this is the beginning of something that’s the right thing for our sport.”
  • “The view that most people within the game would have is that there are too many governing bodies within the sport. This is the first real big step in tying everything together, which I think is something that golf needs.”
  • …”Three of the four major championships are played in America every year and a lot of the World Golf Championships have migrated back to the USA. I think the players can eventually expect, hopefully from a European point of view, a more international flavour to the world’s best events.”
7. Why Charles Barkley thought Phil was a bartender
Nick Piastowski for…”Barkley had just been traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Phoenix Suns. Mickelson had just turned pro. And Mickelson’s then-girlfriend-now-wife, Amy, was a Suns cheerleader who wanted the two to meet.”
  • …”She says to me, ‘Will you play golf with my boyfriend, Phil?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, yeah, OK.’”
  • “She says, ‘You going to play golf with my boyfriend, Phil?’” Barkley said. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll play golf with your boyfriend, Phil.’”
  • “Three months go by. Still nothing.”
  • “She says, ‘Are you ever going to play golf with my boyfriend, Phil?’” Barkleys said. “I’m like, ‘OK, Amy, I like you. What’s the deal? What’s his name?’ She said, ‘Phil Mickelson.’
  • “I said, ‘What? You going out with Phil Mickelson?’ I said, ‘Amy in the future, you start out with my boyfriend, Phil Mickelson. I thought you were going out with Phil the bartender. I would have canceled everything I was doing to go play golf with the great Phil Mickelson. But she started out with, ‘My boyfriend, Phil.’ How the hell am I supposed to know his last name is Mickelson.”
8. Bezuidenhout’s winning WITB
Driver: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 60 TX
3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX
Hybrid: Callaway Mavrik Pro (19 degrees)
Irons: Callaway X Forged ’18 (4-PW)
Shaft: KBS Tour 125 S+
Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (50, 54, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400
Putter: Odyssey Works Big T #5
Ball: Titleist Pro V1
9. End-of-2020 call for submissions at GolfWRX
A new call for submissions at GolfWRX: Have your voice heard on the largest golf news website that publishes reader contributions!
Learn about the Featured Writer program in general, what we’re looking for with this call in particular, and how to easily submit your writing for publication.
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Ed Murray, brother of Bill, and patriarch of the Murray golf family passes away



As first reported on the Willian Murray Golf Instagram page, Ed Murray, the eldest of the famous Murray brother, and the inspiration for Caddyshack has passed away at the age of 76.

As per the statement

“Ed was the recipient of the Evans Scholarship back in 1963, while attending Northwestern University—a scholarship awarded to golf caddies—a family storyline which served as inspiration for the Danny Noonan character in ‘Caddyshack’ when Brian Doyle-Murray co-wrote that iconic screenplay.

Ed and all five Murray brothers are members of the Caddie Hall of Fame, as well—something all the boys take pride in, as this game helped shape their lives.”


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